God did not design the human body to deal with large quantities of sugar. Sugar is known to cause inflammation, upset the body’s normal ph, lead to obesity and platelet stickiness, affect hormonal balance and interfere with digestion. Even a teaspoon of sugar is enough to disrupt normal body chemistry for 6-8 hours. Thus, eating sugar several times throughout the day keeps the body in biological chaos. In response to refined sugar, the body secretes insulin from the pancreas in an attempt to regulate blood sugar by signaling cells to absorb the sugar and either burn it for energy or store it as fat. Excess sugar means excess insulin and a high blood insulin level.
During the refining process of sugar, 64 food elements are destroyed, and all vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and fiber are removed, leaving only empty non-nutritious, harmful sucrose. When a child eats a product like Fruit Loops, his or her body must take vital nutrients from healthy cells to process it. Fruit Loops is 88 percent refined sugar and starch with 12 percent toxic chemicals promoted as “enriched” essential vitamins. During a University experiment, a box of Fruit Loops was put into a cage with rats. The rats ate the box and left the fruit loops.
Thirty-two percent of Americans are considered obese, and sugar is undoubtedly the culprit. In 1700, the average person ate just 4 pounds of sugar a year but by 2009 we consumed 180 pounds annually. Sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods raise the level of feel-good chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin in our bodies. However, sugar is quickly broken down by insulin leading to a sudden drop in sugar and endorphins and setting up a cycle of food cravings, weight gain, fatigue and mood swings that can be hard to break. It is easy for sugar to become an idol in our lives.
If young children are not taught to eat sugar, they will not crave it, thus avoiding many behavioral and learning difficulties. Treats should be fruit and a very occasional cup cake at a birthday party. Often children will recognize feeling yucky the next day. To avoid children feeling deprived, they should be allowed to try candy at home, but parents should talk openly about marketing and poisons, and try the many healthier alternatives available at health food stores.
Live nutrient rich super foods, such as spirulina, whole grains and fresh vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, and squash may help to curb a sweet tooth. Taking half a teaspoon of L-glutamine powder before meals will inhibit food desires. Fruit juices can be as detrimental as soda since they are high in fructose but without the fiber and antioxidants found in fruit. The goal should be to keep sugar intake under 25g a day. Just giving the body a break from sugar for two weeks can help the body be less reactive to it. Look for recipes for home made chocolate that are made from organic coconut oil, organic cocoa and a little raw honey.
In some cultures when a person becomes sick, they have to apologize to their community for not having taken adequate care of themselves. By keeping our diet simple with fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods, we can avoid many health problems.
Andrea Goff hosts Choosing Joy, a support group for people dealing with ongoing medical conditions, pain, anxiety or depression. For information, contact [email protected].